Aaron Beck And Beck's Cognitive-Behavior Theory

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Introduction Cognitive-Behavior Theory is currently one of the most widely practiced theories around the world (Kottler, 2007, pp.29). With roots in both psychology and philosophy this theory challenges individuals to examine irrational thoughts that result in emotional suffering (Kottler, 2007, pp.29). Cognitive-Behavior Theory resulted in the development of therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy originated by Aaron Beck and Rational Emotive Therapy originated by Albert Ellis. There are now over 330 outcome studies on cognitive-behavioral interventions with research continuously being added (Knapp & Beck, 2008, pp.56). This theoretical orientation will be discussed in great detail, as it is a significant addition to the current psychological…show more content…
There were multiple influencers of this theory such as Beck, Ellis, Meichenbaum, Mahoney and Cautela (Knapp & Beck, 2008, pp.55), however the most widely known theorists were Aaron Beck and Albert Ellis. The theory transpired in part due to Beck’s studies involving psychoanalysis. He had been studying depression in relation to psychoanalytic concepts, however the studies revealed that there was actually very little validation for the application of psychoanalytic concepts to depression (“History of CBT,” 2015). This led to the formation of new theories of depression, such as the concept of automatic thoughts. These thoughts are defined as an individuals’ negative thoughts about themselves, the world, or the future (“History of CBT,” 2015). As a result of this discovery Beck began a new approach to therapy that involved the client changing their automatic thoughts to create enduring change (“History of CBT,” 2015). This therapy is now commonly known as cognitive behavioral therapy. Like Beck, Ellis practiced psychoanalysis in the 1940’s however he began practicing his own innovation rational emotive behavior therapy in 1955 (“About Ellis,” 2014). He observed that clients could modify their irrational beliefs through logical-empirical questioning, challenging, disputing and debating (Knapp & Beck,…show more content…
CBT does not implement one rigid plan to use for every client but the outline should consist of building a good therapeutic relationship, setting goals, planning treatment, and selecting interventions (“History of CBT,” 2015). In CBT the irrational beliefs of events are the core psychological variable in psychopathology. Clinicians would need to address this key component in a way that would effectively treat the psychological distress. To do so they would first need to create a relationship built on trust and confidence, they would then need to address the type of unrealistic thinking that is occurring within the client and the situations in which it occurs. By doing so the clinician will be able to appropriately help the client identify and evaluate their thoughts. With the thoughts now recognized the clinician can help the client change their distorted thinking through the interventions that work best for the particular psychological distress that is occurring (“History of CBT,” 2015). CBT is beneficial in treating many different populations, however studies have shown it is very effective for some and moderately effective for others. Butler et al. (2006) found a large effect size for CBT in the unipolar depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and childhood depressive and anxiety disorder
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